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Vulnerable Employees

The employees of a firm are one of its most important assets!
There are some employees requiring special attention and a greater regard for their health, safety and well-being. These individuals can be considered under the general description of vulnerable employees. There are many categories of vulnerable employee-some as a result of their own status or position whilst others are vulnerable because of the work they are asked to carry out:

  • Pregnant women 
  • Young persons (Under 18 and perhaps even under 20/21) 
  • Disabled persons 
  • Employees carrying out "unusual activity" for example: 
    - Working alone 
    - Carrying cash 
    - Making unaccompanied visits in potentially difficult circumstances

Wherever an employee falls into the vulnerable category a special risk assessment should be carried out to determine whether additional or different control actions are necessary. The following are examples of vulnerable employees.

Pregnant Women

A female worker who routinely handles boxes may need to be restricted in her duties when she becomes pregnant. Some women may need to be moved to alternative work to avoid contact with certain substances.

Young Persons

Young persons do not have the same understanding of risk as mature workers. They should not be required to carry out work with dangerous machinery, or should be restricted to working under supervision. Their physical strength is less than that of a mature adult so they should not be expected to lift the same loads as an adult.

Disabled Persons

Employees who are physically disabled or have impaired hearing or sight may be at greater risk of accident.

Exposed Workers

Some employees work in circumstance that might exposure them to violence, for example shop assistant working "late shifts" at garages and petrol stations, or those providing support services for drug addicts by visiting them at home. Such work should be subject to special risk assessment so that suitable controls can be put into effect.

Next Steps

  • Source discounted products, available to Aviva insured customers and brokers, via our Specialist Partners - click here to find out more about the savings you could make
  • Call our Risk Helpline on 0345 366 66 66
  • Email us at
  • View our Tools and Templates

Please Note
This document contains general information and guidance and is not and should not be relied on as specific advice. The document may not cover every risk, exposure or hazard that may arise and Aviva recommend that you obtain specific advice relevant to the circumstances. AVIVA accepts no responsibility or liability towards any person who may rely upon this document.

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